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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:05 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
Posts: 17
First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Greetings my friends,
This will be my first year involving luthier and I am training myself. I have decided to save up for a CNC machine to custom build electric guitar bodies, necks, and whatever I can really make that will make a profit. I have a lifetime dedication to harmony and have decided a luthier is in line with the fostering of freedom and harmony allowing me to live in love and in peace. I have been examining and watching videos on YouTube which show people using CNC machines to produce electric guitar parts. I am intrigued and would like to start. Ideally I would use all parts manufactured that are as close as possible to my location, which is in Indiana in the USA. Least carbon footprint possible. Supporting my own people. I also am interested in acoustic guitars too. My situation is that I am currently with little funding but the ability to take what limited funding I have and save up to buy a CNC machine. Well eventually. I am considering buying used electric guitars and fixing them up and selling them for a fee. Perhaps painting, changing equipment, etc. I saw a video of a steampunk themed guitar, maybe themed guitars would be a good starting point. I have also seen nice equipment put into used guitars that have created value. Maybe I could rebrand guitars in this fashion and add my own value to them. Even selling them online. This way I can build up money to buy the CNC machine. I am in a small town where there just really is no where to work. So this is what I think of to gather money for my first CNC machine and equipment. Perhaps the X-Carve or Shapeoko XL to start with, does anyone have experience using these machines? I have seen that the Laguna machines look very nice but currently are to expensive for me to be starting out with.

Questions:
What first CNC machine would you recommend and software?
Any ideas on ways to fix up electric guitars for profits?
Any advice for someone starting out (advice that will help)?
What legal ramifications are used for opensource guitar builds, and copies of designs of les pauls, Stratocasters, telecasters, can I use the designs and change the name or do I have to start from scratch and build my own design?

Thanks for viewing my thread, I really do wish you all the best. Thank you for contributing to my search to add value to this world and help my fellow man.
Kind Regards,


Last edited by KBA on Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1618
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Welcome KBA. This forum has a sub forum devoted to CNC and Lutherie, look down towards the bottom of the page. There is a good thread currently running on getting started with cnc - worth reading. Also some good recent articles in American Lutherie regarding cnc for the small builder. In fact the latest issue has an article by Mark French comparing the luthier's bench with factory fabrication. He makes the comment that at current pricing a cnc router big enough to cut a solid electric guitar is about $6K.

The big problem that I have with this is that "lutherie" isn't something you do with a computer and a mill, or for that matter, copying an electric design. Lutherie is the making of stringed musical instruments and to me it implies knowledge and understanding of everything that goes into making a piece of wood make music. I've built two dozen guitars, all by hand, most of them acoustics. I don't yet call myself a luthier.

Your cnc will only remove wood as you direct it - everything else is a journey that you only learn by taking it. Good luckl.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post: B. Howard (Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:42 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1618
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
You might also want to follow the progress here

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/books-and- ... et.906514/

http://www.tdpri.com/threads/my-first-b ... ed.906551/


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Thank you for your kind and inspiring words and also the reading recommendations which I will make good use of. What machines were mentioned at 6k do you recall from your memory? I posted in the section about CNC machines. I am located in southern Indiana and would be interested in finding someone with experience to work with.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
KBA wrote:
Thank you for your kind and inspiring words and also the reading recommendations which I will make good use of. What machines were mentioned at 6k do you recall from your memory? I posted in the section about CNC machines. I am located in southern Indiana and would be interested in finding someone with experience to work with.


I don't think he mentioned a brand or model, but he did have a picture of a machine at Purdue University that he said cost 15K and was big enough to mill a neck thru guitar (which means its got a pretty big table).

I won't be any help with the CAD/CNC side even tho that was my world for 40 years. I recently retired from being a design engineer for a manufacturing company - I am CAD proficient and semi good in SolidWorks, but have never used it for lutherie (I did make a lot of jigs and fixtures with our CNC's but never cut wood).

I can offer some advice and a bit of help on the lutherie side - if you want to learn to build an electric guitar get Melvyn Hiscock's book, for acoustics, Cumpiano and Natelson. For repairs Dan Erlewine at StewMac. Repairs can be hard, you often need to be creative, but you'll learn what goes wrong. Obviously if you are going to charge someone to fix their guitar you probably should know what you are doing - a bit of a Catch 22. Buying yard sale guitars and fixing them up is a good way to go but kind of limited. I work with my local music store doing repairs - I always charge less than I should and I frequently turn down work that I don't feel qualified. I'll also take on projects that every sane person would avoid.

Doing setups will teach you about geometry and about what players want. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard "I want my action as low as possible without buzzing"..... Doing fretwork will teach you about frets, which are the interface to the player. I have only one standard for frets - perfect.

Along with your investment in wood cutting stuff - band saw and routers and cnc and chisels and all - you will have a significant investment in specialized tools - fretting and measuring and all the setup stuff. The ideal thing would be to apprentice with someone who both knows what she is doing and has the tools. And has enough work to justify a helper. Good luck here.

I really don't know what to say - I'd like to encourage you on this quest but to just say "next year I'm going to be a luthier and buy a cnc and make guitars" is a dream. But it is always good to dream


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
Posts: 17
First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
I noticed on the TDPRI forum that you had books you recommended but did not list the authors, at least not what I have read so far. One for electric and one for acoustic. I would like to pick them up. Also, on repairs. I have to start somewhere (luthier) and it is seemingly a good idea so far in working in something that I can be proud of. I have had little luck with careers in the past and am hoping to invent create something of value. I have learned quite bit recently since starting studying and have found a large wealth of information on YouTube. My close friends cousin I think it is started a place in town I may try to apprentice at or take on some repairs. If I recall correctly it is guitar lessons and selling stringed instruments, and drums. I am keeping it on the back burner as to where I could really cut my teeth learning valuable information. I have to start somewhere and figure the profit margin will be greatest selling my own electric guitars online, and locally online until I can afford a workshop/ storefront which I could also ship out of. From there I could move in to other stringed instruments. I value quality. I have always seen the value in quality local products over the mass production and cheap goods globalization has brought to the USA. I am hoping to bring value to the world I live in and so far this is something that seems logical. I am able I think to just be able to pick up with CAD software if I can get it and learn through online videos the ins-and-outs, if I can not find an apprenticeship. There is a violin degree not to far from me but I can't afford school right now. I am a very hands-on and fast learner though. I have to start somewhere and look forward to gathering up information and sharing information and appreciate all comments. I hope to bring value to the world and be able to help others in the future. Live and help live.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
I am completely new to this topic and am glad I have found this community. Board index » CNC and Lutherie » Noob has been enlightening in opening my eyes up to the idea of using a CNC machine. I consider it now a stepping stone in the process and for now to need to focus on getting some books, watching many videos and tutorials, and getting a good set of hand tools. After the hand tools and some work is done I will get some more power tools. Once I am capable and competent at some point I will then consider getting a CNC kit, and from what I have read Openbuilds, so far, has been where I may start. I am excited about this career path. I will at least produce something of value. I am interested in electric guitars, and may expand in to amps, and acoustic guitars. I am just 3 days into researching so I will ride this thread out until I have my first crafted guitar, it should be a fun journey for me, I hope, cheers!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 6:14 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:17 pm
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City: Escondido
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Lutherie is a great hobby. It might even pay for itself if you really work at it and manage to do some repair work or sell the odd guitar. But it is not a career. Yes, there are a small handful of people making a living at this, but the same thing can be said of tennis. There have been a number of threads on this topic, so I won’t go over it all here.

Do read the threads. Don’t let it stop you from learning this beautiful craft. But so so with your eyes open.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 9:53 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
I am seeing this as an income stream, and hobby of course. I am aiming at having my hobbies pull in enough income to be considered careers. Ultimately I would like to offer something of value into this world. Creating guitars is a start. It would be one income stream. I live in a small town right now where the cost of living is a mere fraction of what it is in other parts of the USA. Hopefully I will be able to work myself into other income streams also that are less labor intensive at some point. I look forward to learning as much as I can surrounding guitar building, luthier, making multiple income streams, etc. The Openbuilds looks like a good starting CNC machine, I am not sure how the software works just yet, but would like to design my own electric guitar. I would like to get the Laguna 4 x 4 with the vacuum attachment after generating some profits.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:53 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1618
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
The two books that I recommend are Melvyn Hiscock for electrics and Cumpiano & Natelson for acoustics. For repair get Dan Erlewines book that covers both electric and acoustics, Read everything on Frets.com. Read the repair sub forum here. Then practice, practice, practice.

To put things in one perspective, I am a hobby builder, have just finished my 24th guitar. Most I keep but a fair number have been gifted or "sold" to friends or family. When I "sell" a guitar I basically get my fixed costs back and a little extra for my time. I thank my friend for supporting my hobby. I take my wife to dinner and thank her for her understanding.

I also repair guitars for my local music store. I'll typically fix two or three or four guitars a week, lets say I get a hundred bucks each, you do the math.

I can't imagine putting 5 or 6 thousand dollars into a wood working machine, months into the learning curve, plus all the other real lutherie work to assemble and finish and set up one electric guitar, then trying to sell it (the PacRim competition is brutal these days, you can buy a great guitar for what I pay for materials).

I love lutherie, guitars and am interested in computer and technology. I'm also very realistic. Good luck, I hope I turn out to be wrong.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:23 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
As from my current perspective it would be many months before I would even consider the Laguna machine. I would first need something like an openbuilds lead 1010 or to design my own or build one with current plans. I got the idea for the Laguna by watching Acacia guitars produce a guitar with help from one. I saw it on youtube. As of now it is an idea which I will turn into a hobby which hopefully will blossom into a full business. The value of a locally produced high quality instrument is impossible to compare to any thing coming from overseas since it involves supporting our own USA economy.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 2:47 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
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Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
I see you started a similar thread on the CNC sub-forum. I posted a reply there. You really need to focus on training — REAL training — as right now your ideas are all over the map.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Yes, I am hoping to get some real training. As with everything I must start from the very bottom and work my way through the whole process.

I must admit watching all the tutorials and online presentations of handmade guitars, the first logical step really would be a CNC machine. That is the only way on earth I will be able to pump out a production model electric guitar, there is just no way I can justify pumping the amount of money into hand tools that could purchase a CNC machine in order to hand make guitars with blood, sweat, and tears. I just couldn't sell it for the price that it would cost to make. To put out a guitar that can compete with anyone else, I will simply have to get a CNC machine. I figured this would be the best idea to start a company since I enjoy the look of natural finishes, rosewoods, koa, etc. on the body of the guitar and think I could really enjoy making them if I can get them to where they are affordable and I can safely produce them in a timely fashion.
I am thinking CNC machine, air ventilation and dust control, then hand tools to finish. This is going to take time, and money.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:07 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
KBA wrote:
Yes, I am hoping to get some real training. As with everything I must start from the very bottom and work my way through the whole process.

I must admit watching all the tutorials and online presentations of handmade guitars, the first logical step really would be a CNC machine. That is the only way on earth I will be able to pump out a production model electric guitar, there is just no way I can justify pumping the amount of money into hand tools that could purchase a CNC machine in order to hand make guitars with blood, sweat, and tears. I just couldn't sell it for the price that it would cost to make. To put out a guitar that can compete with anyone else, I will simply have to get a CNC machine. I figured this would be the best idea to start a company since I enjoy the look of natural finishes, rosewoods, koa, etc. on the body of the guitar and think I could really enjoy making them if I can get them to where they are affordable and I can safely produce them in a timely fashion.
I am thinking CNC machine, air ventilation and dust control, then hand tools to finish. This is going to take time, and money.


I'm maybe a couple years down the path you've chosen (the luthier one, not the CNC one). Unless I've missed something, you're focus seems to be figuring out how to get to the CNC as quickly as possible, but I think you might be doing yourself a disservice. Something I've found so far is that my initial assumptions are rarely the best ones, and second there are myriad unexpected rabbit trails, devastating ones, intriguing ones, and even the occasional pleasant one. If you're so focused on getting to the CNC you'll likely miss many important stops along the luthiery journey. Steps that could otherwise have let you know you don't want a CNC machine after all. I think its fair to say that the guys and girls who successfully incorporate CNC technology into their processes use it to speed up things they could already do otherwise, none of them use it as the starting place.

You haven't mentioned whether or not you're comfortable setting up or playing guitars. I'd say this is thee place to start. I started out down the luthiery path with a rudimentary understanding of setting up a guitar, and a good understanding of how a guitar should feel in my hands, this has been a huge source of comfort for me as I'm constantly reminded of my shortcomings in every other discipline necessary to building a guitar.

I decided to start out by finishing and assembling inexpensive offshore kits. I was easily able to double my money on those kits, which isn't anywhere near making a living but it did give me the confidence to step a little further out the branch.

My last thought, the biggest thing I've had to learn when it comes to luthiery is patience. Every single time I've tried to rush something its ruined it. So if you're starting from a place of impatience, you're starting out behind the 8 ball.



These users thanked the author Conor_Searl for the post: Smylight (Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:14 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:36 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Conor_Searl - Joy comes with patience I agree with you there. Where exactly was it that you sold your first guitars at, the kit builds? Where do you recommend kits from? I do plan on shipping the guitars tuned and set up after purchase. Inspected each step along the way and settling for nothing but perfection.

What about other people? Where did you sell your guitars, and what kits do you recommend?

I am thinking online ads to start with perhaps, facebook, craiglist, etc. At some point I thinkin Facebook ads may be something that really rakes in traffic to a site. I do not have a website other than a wordpress currently, but may start working on that after I start with kit building.

I am not trying to take shortcuts as the saying is, I am trying to avoid injuries and wasted time is all, that is why I am interested in the best technology available.

Selling signs and other intricate wood workings would be something that would generate profits with a CNC machine also.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
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KBA wrote:
What about other people? Where did you sell your guitars, and what kits do you recommend?


I have "sold" twelve of the 24 guitars that I have built. What that means is that I gave two to family members, donated a couple more to charity. The rest have been commissions, somebody has asked me to build a certain guitar for them. Most of these people have been personal friends, however a couple are interesting stories of someone seeing one of my guitars on a discussion forum like this and then contacting me about building one. If I calculate my material costs and add up the hours, if I pay myself minimum wage I have lost a lot of money on each one.

I've received two commissions over the holidays, a guy on another forum wants me to build his dream guitar, which will basically be an OM-18 with a few special touches - I am confident on this. One of my nieces ask me about an acoustic for her husband. Again, probably a traditional OM with some personal details. I've told both these people that they can buy a better guitar from China for less than I can buy the materials - in both cases that doesn't matter. The guy with the OM-18 wants to watch the process and be involved in the selection of materials, shape of the neck, yadda yadda.

Kits are a good way to build if you don't want to invest in some of the special equipment required. With an acoustic kit you will get the sides bent, top and back thicknessed, neck preshaped (on a cnc or duplicarver), fretboard slotted. There is still a heck of a lot of wood work and of course all the finish and setup.

Electric guitar kits tend to be one of two kinds - either parts casters with the body and neck shaped, almost always screw on neck. You get to assemble the parts, finish it, wire and set it up. There are also some PacRim kits that looks to me like they picked a cheap body and neck off an assembly line, included the cheapest tuners and hardware they could find and shipped it to the US. When you can get an entire guitar for $150 or 200 you know what the quality is (I frequently pay $150 for a nice piece of maple or 200 for a couple of good pickups).

Kits that have a good reputation:

https://www.lmii.com/519-kits-kit-wizard (you can customize these any way you and your budget desire)

http://www.bluescreekguitars.com/ (quality Martin parts, John is a forumite and a great guy to work with)

https://www.stewmac.com/Materials_and_S ... ment_Kits/ (the StewMac electrics look like the cheap Chinese stuff, their acoustics are very good)

https://precisionguitarkits.com/ (no experience with Precision but they have a really good reputation)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:54 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Freeman- Interesting choices for the kits. I am hoping to find good deals myself at an exotic wood retailer I saw in Indianapolis, I have not been onsite yet but the website looks promising. I am researching as much as I can about pickups and wiring currently and will move on as need be over time to various components that make up electric guitars.

At some point I am hoping to attract in the consumer whom values locally made, high quality instruments.

What pickups do you people prefer, or that sell the most? I am thinking double or triple passive humbuckers currently but really do not fully know what I am talking about yet. I would like to make my own but need to do a lot more research. Possible even switches for each humbucker separately on my own guitar body design. I really enjoy the look of Alembic guitars and their style. Ideally I would like to take in what I see from them and design my own looks and style from the accumulation of all my ideas about what guitars should be, but not from any current models. Learning everything there is to know but having my own ideas. I like the hippie sandwich looks but do not want to promote the word hippie. I also enjoy the way that bookmatched guitar tops can be separated with another piece of wood. Ideally the necks will be simple and streamlined and not have any weak points in their construction that will be prone to breakage.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:08 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Location: Cowichan Valley, BC, Canada
First name: Conor
Last Name: Searl
City: Duncan
State: British Columbia
Zip/Postal Code: V9L 2E5
Country: Canada
Status: Semi-pro
The cheap kits I've used are from a company called Solo Guitar kits. I think I've done 4 tele style kits, they all worked out okay, I did a lot of extra work to them, but in the end I was happy with their functionality. I've also had an offset kit from them, I've been much less happy with. Not only was it about twice the price, I had to fill and re-drill the holes for the tune-o-matic bridge as the guitar wouldn't intonate as it was. Plus the whammy bar added a lot of buzzes and rattles that I haven't been able to get rid of because of the cheap metal. And it came with 3 on off switches that are completely redundant.

As far as where I sold them, I just advertised online. There are a couple local web pages as well as a facebook group for selling gear. Selling guitars is interesting, I'm not sure where they all go but there always seems to be a market for another guitar. Having said that, the guitar buying public seem to be largely traditionalistic and the further you stray from established norms when it comes to your ideas the tinier the niche becomes that your guitars appeal to.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:35 pm 
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Walnut
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First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
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Focus: Build
That is what I am seeing these days. to create a valuable guitar with similarities to a tele or strat body style with natural grains. Someday move towards a classical Spanish cutaway style guitar that is scaled down, only with a modern neck and headstock I like the idea of chambered guitars. Ideally I would just change and modify the shapes to trigger the brain response of a familiar guitar shape but manipulate the body of the guitar to something that can be seen as my own style and characteristically different, something like an optical illusion for the brain. I am keeping an open mind and open eyes to the market and ideas. Hopefully I can build an audience and move towards a hollow body electric guitar I develop that is different but enjoyable that I will offer.

The kit ideas are a brilliant way to start saving up money for tools. I need plenty as of right now, as I am learning every nook and cranny of making an ideal instrument through online video tutorials, which there are seemingly endless.

Push all advertising towards strat style guitars as any one new to electric guitar gear will associate the iconic body shape with electric guitar and the shape will pull in the most traffic.

Conor_Searl- Are you poly coating the guitars or painting them?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: peter
Last Name: havriluk
City: granby
State: ct
Zip/Postal Code: 06035
Country: usa
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Status: Amateur
I hope experienced folks will speak up on the topic of realistic time commitment needed before profitable results emerge.

And I have a potentially enthusiasm-dampening suggestion of my own - - - getting hired for a production job in the guitar business and get some wage while learning. Won't be a big number, but it will be a black number.

_________________
Peter Havriluk


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 pm 
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Koa
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City: Escondido
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Zip/Postal Code: 92029
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Everything you say about what your value proposition is and why people should want what you are planing to offer makes perfect sense. I know at least a half dozen aspiring luthiers who believe the exact same thing. Unfortunately, it doesn't line up with reality as many of us have experienced.

I have been building for about twenty years. I was very lucky that a community college in my area had one of the last real woodworking programs in the country, and within it a gem of a lutherie school. After hacking together three electric guitars on my own, I enrolled in a basic woodworking class and the first of nearly a half dozen guitar building class. That was many guitars ago. For the last five or so years, I've been helping teach the guitar building class. I have literally met hundreds of aspiring luthiers. Some have made SPECTACULAR guitars. Several used to work at Taylor (nearby), and came to the program because they were tired of working an assembly line machine and wanted to make guitars. I can't think of ONE that has successfully turned lutherie into a full time occupation that pays their bills (myself included).

I am also an attorney, and my practice over those same twenty years (and a few more) has been almost exclusively working for small businesses. I've become pretty adept at knowing which ones stand a chance, and which ones will be gone in a few years. It is always a surprise to them, and IMHO it is mostly because they have no plan. Almost no one I've met have ever made a business plan before they started. I mean a REAL business plan, not one of those silly things full of charts that MBA's do as their midterm. I mean a plan that starts with you understanding realistically how much money YOU need to live and keep the business going. Then figuring out exactly who out there is prepared to give you that money and how you are going to get them to do it. And lastly what it really is going to cost in capital, time, and effort to give those people what they want in exchange for that money.

How many guitars have you bought? How many your friends and family? Would you buy one of your own imagined guitars at the price point you are thinking if it was some stranger in Illinois making them? If not, why not, and what makes you think anyone else is different? How many people are already trying to sell local artisan guitars in Illinois? Are there guitar stores around you? Do you know how many guitars they sell? How many luthiers try to sell guitars on the basis of a Facebook campaign? How many do they actually sell? Who do they sell to? Parents buying kids a first guitar? Professional musicians? Serious hobbyists? How many of each? What are they looking for in a guitar? What matters to each group of buyers them? How do they decided to pull the trigger and buy? How important is price to them? ...

The questions can go on and on. You can either build your hopes on not knowing the answers and moving forward on the basis of a dream, or you can ask those questions. I have asked those questions, and the answers were not what I was hoping for. But ask your own questions. Maybe you will find something that works for you. But I caution you against falling in love with your own story about why you SHOULD succeed. Unfortunately, for small businesses at least, the real world works very differently than how we often tell ourselves it should.

Good luck, and don't be afraid to just build a guitar and see what happens!



These users thanked the author rlrhett for the post: Pmaj7 (Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:50 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:10 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:34 am
Posts: 17
First name: KBA
City: Martinsville
State: IN
Zip/Postal Code: 46151
Country: USA
Focus: Build
rlrhett- Persistence is a most valuable human trait I couldn't agree more with you on that! What ever it takes to make this business successful is all I can see. I live for the future, not the present. A person would go insane if they lived for the present only. I see the successful businesses and I do whatever it takes to accomplish this. I strive to meet these criteria you have listed.

I hope to meet the customer that values their own countries success. They are out there!

I am striving for better, and to offer a relatively perfect instrument.


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